For Better Entrepreneurial Success, Seek Out a Hybrid MBA

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Recently, Bloomberg Businessweek contributor Patricia Clark wrote an article about the success of entrepreneur Rooda AlNeama, who is completing an all-online MBA program at the University of Liverpool in the UK.

In an interview with Clark, AlNeama argued that remote learning may be the “closest proxy business school can offer for entrepreneurship,” because it makes you lead your own learning—similar to how you would lead your own research when working on a startup. 

Still, as the Bloomberg article notes, one of the setbacks to MBA programs that are hosted exclusively online is that they don’t provide the same opportunities to develop a professional network as a traditional MBA. While some universities like the University of Liverpool try to compensate by holding regional events and on-campus graduations, that still isn’t enough.

Building a strong, worthwhile network takes more than a few regional events and an in-person graduation. It takes consistent, meaningful contact with other members of the program to develop a strong professional network, which isn’t something you get when meeting a handful of times over the course of your program. 

A hybrid MBA, however, has a lot to offer that sets it apart from other programs, particularly when it comes to preparing for an entrepreneurial career after graduation.

As we noted in our recent post about entrepreneurship and MBAs, the Midland MBA program is far from a traditional MBA. We understand the importance of finding the right balance when it comes to success, which means following a hybrid model that allows for both real-world business practice, and in-the-classroom learning. The points we made about entrepreneurship and MBAs in our initial post are worth mentioning again within the context of this discussion:

  • In a hybrid MBA program, you have the opportunity to immediately test out ideas in the classroom and in the real world.
  • Traditional business skills are still essential to a successful business.
  • An MBA provides you with valuable networking opportunities.
  • Your time in the classroom can give you something very important: a safe environment in which to fail. 

In AlNeama’s case, while she may have missed out on meeting her business partners if she were based solely in the UK, pursuing her MBA online lost her valuable networking opportunities which could have helped propel her career as an entrepreneur even further. With a hybrid program, you benefit from the semi-independent learning element within the online portion of the program, and the networking and team-building which can only come from work in the classroom. Hybrid programs really give the best of both worlds, and Midland’s program is set up to capitalize on both traditional and online learning. 

While nothing can guarantee 100% success in the entrepreneurial world, Midland’s hybrid MBA does broaden your opportunities much more than a traditional program or an online-only program can do on their own. For entrepreneurs looking for an opportunity to both go their own way and spend valuable time working with a team, a hybrid MBA program like Midland’s is an excellent option. 

If you’d like to learn more about Midland’s hybrid MBA program, let us know in the comments, on Twitter @MidlandMBA, or via our website here. We’re always here to answer your questions and would love to give you more information about the Midland MBA.

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Photo credit: Getty Images via Bloomberg Businessweek

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